Travel Continues to Bring COVID-19 Into Nome, New Travel Policy Announced

COVID-19 continues to trickle into Nome through travel. Over the course of the weekend Norton Sound Health Corporation detected four cases of COVID-19, the healthcare provider announced in a statement.

All new cases came from Nome residents. Three are considered to be travel-related while the fourth is the close contact of another confirmed case of COVID-19. All patients are reportedly isolating while public health officials conduct contact tracing.

As more and more Norton Sound residents receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the City of Nome is also announcing updates to their travel policy. The most recent order came from City Manager Glenn Steckman on Friday. Medical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that even fully vaccinated individuals, meaning people who have had both shots of the available Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, can still carry and spread the virus. Therefore, travelers coming through Anchorage who have been vaccinated will be required to get a rapid COVID-19 test when they arrive in Nome but will not have to quarantine if the test comes back negative.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of people inside and outside of the region are not vaccinated at all. For those people, the same quarantine rules apply when traveling to Nome. Those travelers may do a 14-day quarantine in Nome without testing, or quarantine for seven days with a negative test on arrival and another on day eight. At this time NSHC reports that there are four active cases of COVID-19 in Nome and one case in Brevig Mission.

Image at Top: Rapid COVID-19 testing is available in Nome at the airport after all incoming flights or at the NSHC Operations Center. Photo: courtesy of NSHC, 2020.